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Bank on It

Susan Collins (R) was first elected to a Maine Senate seat in 1996, but the chamber was not entirely new to her. Back in 1979, Collins served as a legislative assistant covering banking issues for then-Sen. William Cohen (R-Maine), pictured above right, with Collins and then-Maine Savings Bank President Bob Masterson.

In 1996, Cohen announced his retirement from the Senate (the following year he would become secretary of Defense for President Bill Clinton). Collins, who had worked for Cohen for 12 years before heading back to Maine, defeated John Brennan (D), a former House Member and governor, for the seat. This, after finishing third in the 1994 gubernatorial race, taking only 23 percent of the vote.